68. Start Small | Jackie Marie Beyer’s Garden Starting Success Tips

Here’s some tips I’ve learned over the years that I would like to offer to someone starting a garden from scratch. The biggest tip is to start small.


If I started a garden from scratch this is what I would do.


Build some raised beds in a sunny spot outside my kitchen.


And build a compost bin as well.

Compost Bin

I would make my raised beds just high enough to sit on the edge comfortably.

My favorites are made out of 8″x6″ beams i think.


I would then fill the beds with the best dirt i could get my hands on.

Compost if i had it – made of grass clippings, lots of coffee grounds, eggshells, leftover fruit and produce, etc

Maybe some manure from chickens or sheep etc

Possibly some straw or leaves

I would build a trellis for the peas to climb

The seeds I would plant in the early spring would include:

  • Black Seeded Simpson lettuce
  • Lots of spinach to freeze
  • Maybe some arugula or spring mix
  • Possibly some radishes
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Sugar snap peas**

I would buy some brocolli and tomato plants probably 1-2 cherries and a larger slicing tomato

IMG_2740 (1)

Then I might plant a zucchini or a squash as much for the flowers as for the veggies.

IMG_2744 (1)

One secret I can share is I like to cut my zukes when they are tiny and slice them on just about everything pasta, sandwiches, salads, but esp grilled cheese


Also, I would plant lots of herbs:

  • chives (mostly for looks and to feed the bees)
  • oregano
  • tarragon
  • rosemary
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • thyme


Possibly lots of basil but mostly basil for my window because it freezes so easy

Flowers I would plant include:

  • marigolds
  • nasturtiums
  • Cosmos?
  • Butterfly flower
  • Calendula
  • Zinnias
  • Snapdragons
  • Sunflowers

Also, I would try to find someone with some raspberry starts I can transplant and build a 8×4 bed for them. If i could i would also try to find some strawberries to transplant.

Pots and containers

You might want to stay away from pots. I myself would stay away from pots. Pots dry out super fast so not only do they require a lot of attention they use more water I think.


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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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